Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils and their volatile aromatic compounds, for psychological and physical well-being. Aromatherapy, which also goes by “essential oil therapy,” is defined as the art and science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences of plants to “balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit.”
Essential oils are also known as volatile oils because they evaporate quickly after coming in contact with oxygen. An essential oil is, simply put, the "essence" of a plant, obtained by water or steam distillation, or by cold pressing (for citrus peel oils). Through this process, the oils inside a plant can be extracted into a highly concentrated form.
Thank you so much for the objective, thorough information! I have some questions about “organic certification”. My understanding, with plants or foods that are produced organically, is that 100% organic is impossible because of cross contamination. So in the case of EO’s is organic less important because any chemical (ie pesticides, herbicides) that is not part of the oil is removed in the distillation process, or it is considered adulterated? For example, a company might state their oils are “certifiably organic” but they could still be contaminated because this certification allows a small percentage of contaminants. Any clarification would be greatly appreciated!
The ACP Course experience was awesome, to say the least. I was able to study online and not leave my responsibilities. There were times when life got in the way, but the support and the technology was AWESOME! I could watch the webinars and videos on my mobile devices, and the case study and research paper feedback was much more than I expected. The response time from my case study mentor was excellent.
I am most likely going to piss off some people with this post, but the information that I found was too good to keep to myself and keep you guys in the dark. As always, you should do your own research and question everything (even me!!). I ALMOST fell for the ploy. I got really excited because I felt like I was about to embark on a journey into the world of “top quality essential oils”. I thought that the lines I was being fed about these oils being “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” (or “CPTG”), “100% pure therapeutic grade”, and “therapeutic quality” meant that these essential oils HAD TO BE THE BEST. I was about to find out that all of these descriptions meant nothing in the eyes of the FDA and the aromatherapy world; they were just that, descriptions.

Storage: Essential oils should be stored in tightly closed, darkened glass containers in a cool place to ensure lasting quality (Buckle, 2003; Tisserand & Balacs, 1995). We recommend writing the date on the bottle after opening it so you can keep track of your own essential oils. Oxidation rates vary, but most essential oils can be safely used for 1-2 years or more after opening.
This is a bit frustrating. I participated here to state my experience. I never anticipated being at odds with you or anyone else on this thread. I have read and studied many, many books, including information from you. Because someone is involved in an MLM doesn’t take away their intelligence nor their curiosity. Most people in the company I am with have at least a nodding acquaintance with a variety of alternative health practices, many are practitioners. I’m sorry if your experience of MLMs has caused you to lump them together. Not every company, MLM or not, can be categorized as the enemy. DoTERRA tests every batch of oils for purity and potency using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and a variety of other tests. I am confident that these tested oils will match the purity of certified organic. Since you also sell essential oils, should we also distrust you? I know that you are stating your “preference” but seriously, you are Robert Tisserand, esteemed in the e.o. world, including being esteemed by at least some of the owners and many members of doTERRA. Also, if essential oils wiggle in to conventional health care or simply into our home health care, that does serve to disempower pharmaceutical companies. Talking “Big Pharma” is a topic for another time but staying small doesn’t really help the fight against legislation that’s funded by them via their lobbyists.
So, what’s your take on companies like Young Living Oil, which basically give me the vibe of “our oil is the only true and pure one out there”. I’m not sold on the idea, and don’t know that I’ll be purchasing anything other than their Thieves blend, when it comes to EOs for my soaps, lotions, and salves. I know you’re mainly addressing aromatherapy and massage here, but would the same principles apply to homemade healthcare products, as well?
Robert you are the MAN! Thank you for being a voice of reason and knowledge. More importantly, thank you for calling people on their BS! To often people will be reluctant to speak up when confronted with individuals or companies spreading misinformation to further their agenda (and profit motive). Fact and fiction are not differences of opinion. Massage magazine should be ashamed. Instead they give an idiotic response, in essence saying, “we don’t know anything so it’s inappropriate that we educate ourselves before we send info out the our industry”.
With the education and knowledge that I have received through the Aromatherapy Certification Program, I have been able to open my own online apothecary business – and although it's just starting out, it's already doing very, very well! It enables me to stay at home to be able to take care of my parents, and not have to go out and work a 9 to 5 day job. This is truly been a huge blessing in my life.

Oh, and there’s no such thing as “Therapeutic grade” essential oils.  All that means is oils that haven’t been adulterated by adding carrier oils, etc. to them.  It’s a marketing ploy to make the oils seem purer than they are.  Really, “pure” essential oils are the bottom level of purity/safety.  Wilfcrafted and organic are the safest and most beneficial.


Hi. I have been buying my eos from a wholesaler called Bulk Apothecary at a very cheap price. They claim to be very pure and high quality, but the labels on products are pretty vague and I dont have much to compare the quality to, as I have never spent the extra money on more expensive ones. I cant. but I am a firm believer in using them, and am trying to build my collection. Do you know much about this company and their supply of eos? I would appreciate any feedback. Thank you.
A genuine therapeutic grade standard for essential oils is a great idea, it just doesn’t exist at this point in time. What does exist is the ISO standard, for many essential oils – http://www.iso.org/iso/home.html – and for organic certification, an organization called IFOAM – http://www.ifoam.org – the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, which was formed in 1972. Certified organic essential oils have been available since the 1980s. Maybe not in your local health store, but they were being produced.

Proper methods of growing, harvesting, and distilling are also crucial to maintaining purity. Poor production practices and the development of synthetic essential oil variations suggest that it is impossible to accurately identify a pure essential oil without scientific analysis. Appropriate analysis of the constituents within an essential oil is one of the most challenging and detailed aspects of quality assurance.
This is something that should be readily available. For example, the company Aromatics International lists their oil data right on the respective product pages. Most often, you won't often find this posted on websites, but upon request, you should be able to receive it. According to Aromatics, "Gas Chromatography (GC) is a method of separating the volatile compounds in essential oils into individual components and produces a linear graph that charts these components. Mass Spectrometry (MS) identifies each of these components and their percentages. This process is used to identify any adulteration of the essential oil tested. The precise breakdown of the chemical components in individual oils given to us by GC/MS reports are important as the therapeutic benefits and safety issues of essential oils are, in large part, determined by their chemical makeup." (Source)
Damaged, diseased, or inflamed skin is often more permeable to essential oils and may be more sensitive to dermal reactions. It is potentially dangerous to put undiluted essential oils on to damaged, diseased or inflamed skin. Under these circumstances the skin condition may be worsened, and larger amounts of oil than normal will be absorbed. Sensitization reactions are also more likely to occur.6

Most eucalyptus oil on the market is produced from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Steam-distilled eucalyptus oil is used throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and South America as a primary cleaning/disinfecting agent added to soaped mop and countertop cleaning solutions; it also possesses insect and limited vermin control properties.[38] Note, however, there are hundreds of species of eucalyptus, and perhaps some dozens are used to various extents as sources of essential oils. Not only do the products of different species differ greatly in characteristics and effects, but also the products of the very same tree can vary grossly.[39]
Much of this statement is quite misleading and not very well researched. There are a few marketers of EO that have actual farms where the plants are grown and harvested…some may even distil their own oils. There is only one producer of EO that controls the entire process from beginning to market. There is one large co. that claims to be pure and has been proven in court to have been making false statements and claims of purity. There are several companies that own no land and only a building where they do the paperwork and perhaps receive and reship their products because they source it all from someone else.
Have you ever wondered, “What are the best essential oil brands”? Who should you buy your essential oils from and why? Those are very good questions! There are variations in quality, standards of production, company culture, price, and product selection among many of the popular essential oil brands available today. I want to highlight what sets apart one essential oil company over another, and which ones would be the best essential oil brands to start buying from.

An essential oil that exhibits this quality will cause burning or skin pigmentation changes, such as tanning, on exposure to sun or similar light (ultraviolet rays). Reactions can range from a mild color change through to deep weeping burns. Do not use or recommend the use of photosensitizing essential oils prior to going into a sun tanning booth or the sun. Recommend that the client stay out of the sun or sun tanning booth for at least twenty-four hours after treatment if photosensitizing essential oils were applied to the skin. Certain drugs, such as tetracycline, increase the photosensitivity of the skin, thus increasing the harmful effects of photosensitizing essential oils under the necessary conditions. Table 3 lists some common essential oils considered to be photosensitizers.
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Hi Robert – I know I’ve read that more than a few times in some of the main stream aromatherapy books and think I was told that in my aromatherapy classes – about the 2% thing. So, it is a perception that I myself also have and have, therefore, spent long hours trying to determine if my sources are selling me what they say they are and who my sources should be – long hours and dollars spent to attend conferences to rub elbows with those who should know. However, at that time in 2006, organic essential oils were not readily or at all available. I have also read and have been told by those who should know, that just because an oil is certified organic, there is still no guarantee that said essential oil is not adulterated or for that matter really organic. The argument that I was given was that no one stays around to make sure that the material actually placed into the still was the same that was grown in the organic soil. We live in a world of distrust and for good reason as we look around at the greed in high places. I know this doesn’t address your issues about your article but was and always will be interested in any discussion concerning what constitutes an unadulterated oil. That being said, I would think there are certain things to consider when purchasing an oil and the chances it may or may not be adulterated. Some oils are naturally inexpensive and there would be nothing gained by adulterating them. If you look at how many acres of a particular oil are said to have been grown for a particular year and for that same year there was a great more essential oil sold than could have been produced – then you know you probably have an issue. I know that you know far more about this issue than I do, but I would like to see more discussion concerning what things would throw up a red flag when purchasing an oil from a particular supplier. The internet is now so absolutely full of people selling essential oils and copying and pasting the same old information that it is a bit overwhelming. My concern is the same as other clinical aromatherapists and that is that people will try a particular oil, find that it doesn’t work because it is either adulterated or the person selling the oil really doesn’t have a clue which oil or chemotype should be used for a particular purpose, so the client then assumes that any and all claims made by the aromatherapy industry are false or vastly overstated. This is true in research studies that have been done as well. Is there an answer? I would like to see an article by someone as knowledgeable as yourself that gives you a list of possible red flags and things to consider when looking for suppliers, particularly bulk suppliers.
It is important to remember where essential oils come from whenever you purchase a bottle. It takes 250 pounds of rose blossoms to produce one (1) ounce (30ml) of rose oil, which explains the very high cost of pure rose otto or rose absolute (Encyclopedia Brittanica, 2015.) Other oils are easier to produce, but every oil requires a large amount of plant matter to produce a small amount of oil. This means that good quality essential oils will never be cheap. This does not mean that more expensive oils will always be better than less expensive ones, but the old adage, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” definitely applies here. Do not be fooled by discount retailers, big box stores, state fair or bazaar vendors, and others who offer essential oils at very low prices or charge the same price for all of their oils. The comforting thought when investing in true, pure essential oils is that since the oils are so highly concentrated and so little is required for most applications, even an expensive oil like rose otto can end up being cost effective in the long run.
Anyway, I found a local store that makes (distills?) their own. I enjoy going there to pick out and purchase my oils. Plus I love to support my community. However, I’m still stuck on the idea of food grade. My local place says their EOs are not food grade and shouldn’t be ingested. So do those MLMs do something to their oils to make them safe to consume or is my local place just saying that to cover their butts?
Just to prove the point experimentally, I did a quick experiment and documented it by video. In the experiment we blended 3 oils (Frankincense, Lavender and Tea Tree) in different order, but using the same amounts by weight each time and then analyzing each blend by GC/MS and showing that the blend is chemically identical in each trial. The results below are from two different trials (out of the 6 total possibilities) where you can clearly see that the chemical composition of each blend is the same (within the error of the instrument, I could literally run the exact same sample twice on the same instrument and get the same small differences in the percentages as shown for these two trials). The final picture shows a blown up region of the chromatographs superimposed on one another showing that all the peaks line up exactly in each trial. The odor of each blend was also identical.
In the research and development from pharmaceutical products it is a main part to specify the quality of the active and auxiliary materials, manufacturing process and control methods are determined, the health harmlessness and the clinical effects are evaluated. So that every medicinal product with its characteristics or quality fits with the registered type, the quality assurance system of the manufacture has to make a back up of every batch.
Such great information! I wish I had read the “warning” about diluting EO’s before putting directly on the skin. I purchased some essential lemon oil as I heard it was a a great way to brighten up the skin, clean pores etc. This morning after getting out of the shower, I liberally dabbed some on a cotton ball for that fresh clean feeling. What a mistake! Within seconds my face felt on FIRE, nothing would soothe it, I spread coconut oil on it hoping that would calm it down, I think it made it worse. Then I splashed ice cold water on it which seemed to help, but it took a good 5 minutes for the pain to subside. I was almost afraid to look in the mirror, fearing I would see blistered skin, thankfully all was good, just very red and that too went away. So please, please don’t make this mistakes of using undiluted EO’s and never, never on freshly washed, open pored skin! A very painful lesson to learn.

What sets Young Living apart as the most reputable essential oil company? Young Living leads the industry with the stringent standards of our Seed to Seal® commitment, going above and beyond to provide our members with high-quality essential oils. The exhaustive standards we’ve carefully created put people first, with farms and partner farms around the world that carefully follow rigorous ethical and environmental standards while complying with laws to protect the land and its people.

This is the first time I've smelled this oil. I recall someone in a bookstore telling me once that this was the smell they used in that store but this oil does not smell like that too me. Perhaps it's not the exact oil as there seems to be 3 variations that I've read so far. But none the less it does not stink or have a heavy soap smell like most oils and I am happy to add it to mu collection. It seems like a very thin oil which will come in handy. It also arrived quickly and packaged well so I do recommend this seller. As to the actual quality of the oil, I have no clue as I'm no expert but happy to have it and look forward to using it more...
Dr. Pappas is the President/Technical Director at Essential Oil University. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Robert S. Pappas, EOU is an educational/informational institution dedicated to essential oil production, chemistry and uses and has the largest online database for essential oil chemistry in the world. Dr. Pappas is also an adjunct Professor at Indiana University. Dr. Pappas work has made him a much-sought-after consultant for companies and individuals all over the world because the information he provides helps with quality assurance and with learning how an essential oil might be useful. Dr. Pappas created the Facebook page Essential Oil University which is dedicated spreading accurate information concerning essential oils and dispelling the myths that have been hyped over the years.
All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.
Dr. William Thompson (senior CDC scientist), who is  mentioned above as co-author of this study, blew the whistle and admitted that he was pressured to omit statistically significant data, and that there is a connection between this vaccine and autism. He released this statement in an official capacity, as explained by the Congressman in the video below. This story was an has been completely ignored by mainstream media.
Hi Clint, the Aura Cacia oregano oil is not solvent extracted. In fact, no essential oils are extracted with solvents. Only absolutes like Jasmine and Rose are solvent extracted, and absolutes are not essential oils. Oregano oil is safe to ingest, so long as you take care to avoid mucous membrane irritation by only taking it in capsules that also contain a vegetable oil.
Take peppermint for example. Peppermint is distilled from the whole peppermint plant and is sourced indigenously from the northwestern United States. The ratio of the constituents menthol to menthone is used as a marker for high quality peppermint oil. Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® peppermint oil should always have a significantly higher proportion of menthol because menthol has been shown to improve the beneficial value of peppermint essential oil. One study tested the cleansing properties of peppermint essential oil from three different species. Peppermint from Mentha piperita was demonstrated to have the highest cleansing properties, which was attributed to its high amount of menthol and low amounts of menthone. Conversely, the Mentha aquatica species was shown to have significantly lower cleansing properties and also had a lower amount of menthol and a higher amount of menthone. (Mimica-Dukić N, Et Al. 2003)
The brain plays an important role in the modulation of many symptoms and side effects, such as nausea, pain and stress. Aromatherapy can help patients cope with these problems. In fact, the Massage Therapy Team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital uses several essential oils, including lavender, sweet orange, peppermint and lemon/lime to support the well-being of patients. I’m taking advantage of the mind-body connection right now, diffusing a mixture of spearmint and a proprietary blend called “Breathe” as I write this post. I’m not sure it’s really keeping me on task, but I sure do enjoy the smell.
I’m familiar with EO at one time I used YL the only problem with that is they were to expensive in my opinion. So I quit for awhile. I deal on a daily basis with fibromylgia,osteoarthritis and anxiety. Due to all this my doctor took me off of a sleeping pill said I was sleeping to much in the day plus I went to the library for a free class about sleeping patterns and I was told to get off the OTC sleeping meds. Wow want to talk about a withdraw plus the lack of sleep I was getting. I was like an owl still sleeping in the day up at night. I had to do something. My sister told me about piping rock that’s where she’d been getting her essential oils. So I got my Lavender and Bergamont and at reasonable prices.Their great I sleep well now.
Ok I don’t usually make comments on articles but I just had to on this one. To the author: I’m sorry but this blog is poorly researched and full of errors. If you are going to put out information that people take as truth or at the very least as suggestions because they like you, you need to know what you are talking about. I highly suggest you take this blog down, re research essential oils and rewrite one that is accurate.

Thanks for this info; I have dabbled in herbs, oils, teas & decoctions for several decades. I had started to follow some blogs that were espousing a certain brand of eo, and reading just the comments on your page was very enlightening. I have a question: I have used aura cacia on occasion, and been satisfied, yet you don’t list that in your favored brands, and as you stated, their number of organics is large (largest of any supplier at several of my local health food stores). Wondering about your opinions about them. Thanks! Very useful information!!!

“More and more people are choosing to use alternative medicines to treat minor illnesses rather than taking a prescription. Putting essential oils in or near the eyes isn’t something that is widely known about, but there are several that can aid in the treatment of eye problems. Before using essential oils for your eyes, always contact your doctor.
The Medicinal Oil Association (MOA) was founded to be an independent quality control regulating body for the essential oil industry. It was founded by Dr Jed Adamson ND and Dr Tracy Gibbs PhD. The popularity of and wide spread use of essential oils is similar to the growth of the dietary supplement industry in the early 1990’s but today, just as then, there is no regulatory body to determine safety, purity or misuse of essential oils.
I’m a newbie to essential oils. My daughter-in-law became a consultant for YL oils in the fall. I’m just now researching essential oils and noticed a huge difference in YL oils and others I’ve found online. My question is how do I know when cheaper is just as good, cheaper is the same quality or you get what you pay for, cheap equals cheap quality. Also what is a good carrier for rubbing oils? Thank you for your help.

Hi, I was wondering if you have heard of White Lotus Aromatics? If so what are your thoughts on them? I’m somewhat new to the essential oil life, I just bought a couple of oils from Rocky Mountain Essential Oils, but I’m going further down the rabbit hole in my research for the best essential oils out there. I’ve been reading a lot on White Lotus, but will also be checking out Native Americans.
Thank you for this wonderful information! I have been inundated with the numerous brands of essential oils on the market. I have read reviews, but by far your information has helped me the most. I have been using oils for my Chronic pain & Neurosarcoidosis, always worried if the oils we’re harvested safely. This information will now allow me to make better decisions on my therapeutic treatment in the future! Thank you for your lengthy research!
What you are getting Essential oils may well be the ultimate gift from nature. Made from the aromatic essences of plants, they have a remarkable ability to affect a persons well-being and improve the environment around them. Explore the many essential oils offered by Kis Oil's that can help you achieve physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. The Product is perfect for a gift or for your own use, it comes in a beautifully packaged in a black matte gift box. This box comes with 6 / 10ML bottles.
The brain plays an important role in the modulation of many symptoms and side effects, such as nausea, pain and stress. Aromatherapy can help patients cope with these problems. In fact, the Massage Therapy Team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital uses several essential oils, including lavender, sweet orange, peppermint and lemon/lime to support the well-being of patients. I’m taking advantage of the mind-body connection right now, diffusing a mixture of spearmint and a proprietary blend called “Breathe” as I write this post. I’m not sure it’s really keeping me on task, but I sure do enjoy the smell.
It’s very important to keep in mind that the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates essential oils mainly as cosmetics, NOT as therapeutic supplements, herbs or medications. So if you come across an essential oil company or salesperson who claims their oils can cure certain diseases or mental illnesses, they are violating federal law and can be prosecuted and fined by the US government.
Hey! I akso struggle with acne of all sorts. The best thing I have found is tea tree oil and lavender. I used to dilute it in jojoba oil and that worked great, but not fast enough for my upcoming wedding, so I dilute it in water now until it clears up. The tea tree oil is great for skin and the lavender helps with the redness and inflammation.but, the best thing you can do for your acne is drink lots of water, green tea, and dilluted ACV, exercise, and cut out processed foods, starting with refined sugar.

Hi Julie, it is entirely possible that you have had an allergic reaction to one of the essential oils you ingested. It is possible that that the lemon oil might have oxidized in the bottle in the store, and this increases the risk of allergy. It’s also possible that you are simply allergic to one of those oils. It has nothing to do with detoxing – that’s a total myth.
I think it’s wonderful that you’re starting somewhere. I used the NOW brand for several years with great results. I’ve recently discovered Young Living and WOW way different. I’ve found that the brands in our local stores are cut with carriers and preservatives. Young Living is completely pure. I mean a small bottle of sandalwood from NOW costs about $15. Young Living’s cost well over $100. The difference is that YL offers completely pure oils. A closer look at my NOW sandalwood bottle showed that it was in a carrier oil. I prefer to buy my own carriers and mix my favorite oils into them on my own. Wishing you continued success!

This is the first time I've smelled this oil. I recall someone in a bookstore telling me once that this was the smell they used in that store but this oil does not smell like that too me. Perhaps it's not the exact oil as there seems to be 3 variations that I've read so far. But none the less it does not stink or have a heavy soap smell like most oils and I am happy to add it to mu collection. It seems like a very thin oil which will come in handy. It also arrived quickly and packaged well so I do recommend this seller. As to the actual quality of the oil, I have no clue as I'm no expert but happy to have it and look forward to using it more...

An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile (defined as "the tendency of a substance to vaporize") aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetherolea, or simply as the oil of the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove. An essential oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived.[1] The term essential used here does not mean indispensable as with the terms essential amino acid or essential fatty acid which are so called since they are nutritionally required by a given living organism.[2] In contrast to fatty oils, essential oils typically evaporate completely without leaving a stain or residue.

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